5 Ways to Get Paid on Time, Every Time (Hint: It’s Ok to Require a Deposit)

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5 Ways to Get Paid on Time, Every Time (Hint: It's Ok to Require a Deposit)

Late payments are catastrophic:

In the UK alone, 50,000 small businesses close down every year because of delayed invoices.

To help entrepreneurs stay in business, FreshBooks — the #1 small business accounting software that makes billing painless — is sharing their 5 tried and true strategies for getting invoices paid fast.

#1: Write Crystal Clear Contracts

Create a foundational contract template that includes explicitly states prices, terms for payment, terms for revisions and additional work, and a “kill” fee in case a project is canceled. Then, customize the cover page to describe your agreed-upon services.

#2: Require Deposits

For significant projects or high-priced services, it’s fair to require a deposit at the onset — some businesses ask for 50% — to protect your cash flow.

#3: Stick to an Invoicing Schedule

You won’t be paid on time if you don’t invoice on time. Choose a day — and stick to it — to invoice every month, both for completed work and for ongoing projects with milestone payments.

#4: Automate Reminders

Putting your late payment reminders on autopilot avoids awkward conversations and the fear of nagging.

#5: Enforce Late Fees

Research shows interest rates incentive clients to pay on time, but be fair (less than 10% interest). Include the exact breakdown of late payment fees in your contract, and the updated balance in your reminders, so clients understand clearly what they owe.